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It’s a dog one...

22 replies

LolaNova · 29/04/2021 19:31

I know the dog subject can be divisive but I genuinely don’t know if IABU...

I’m a runner. I mostly enjoy trail running. I like to think I’m pretty considerate as far as runners go - move out the way for others, stick to designated footpaths, let horse riders know I’m coming etc.

There is one particular path that I use occasionally which runs through an equestrian facility. Most of the time there are two or three large hound-type dogs running free. They are very loud and make excellent guard dogs. They will usually bark aggressively, and then walk either side of me nose to hip until I’ve left the property. I never run this section because they’ve chased me before and it’s quite unnerving. I’m not afraid of dogs usually and just talk to them in a friendly voice until I’m past their field but if you were nervous or had small children with you, it could be really scary. The owner is often around in the yard but either says nothing or they completely ignore any attempts at recall.

AIBU to think this isn’t ok on a public footpath? Or because it’s private property and the footpath is a privilege do I just have to him and bear it?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Msmcc1212 · 29/04/2021 19:34

No idea legally but that sounds pretty inconsiderate and possibly dangerous. I would probably speak to the council to see. I think they manage footpaths.


sunflowersandbuttercups · 29/04/2021 19:56

Dogs have to be under control whether they're out in public OR on private property. The law no longer differentiates.

If you feel threatened or at risk of being hurt, you can report the dogs as being out of control. They don't need to hurt you to be considered out of control/dangerous.


WowIlikereallyhateyou · 29/04/2021 19:58

Control of dogs act.


gottakeeponmovin · 29/04/2021 20:11

I would have a word with the owner. If you feel threatened it's enough to get the police involved


TigerBilly · 29/04/2021 20:23

You say the dogs bark aggressively but you keep going back to aggrevate them. You only use this path occasionally so you obviously have a different routes to run on, if you don’t like the dogs then run somewhere else. Simple


LEMtheoriginal · 29/04/2021 20:23

You are on private property


sunflowersandbuttercups · 29/04/2021 20:30


You are on private property

It doesn't matter.

The dangerous dogs act applies on private property too.

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:

in a public place
in a private place, for example a neighbour’s house or garden
in the owner’s home
The law applies to all dogs.

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

injures someone
makes someone worried that it might injure them

idontlikealdi · 29/04/2021 20:33

You're in their space.


WiddlinDiddlin · 29/04/2021 20:40

If it is a public foot path and not just a permissive route (check, it can be very easy to mistake one for the other if its commonly used and recommended by others) then yes, the dogs should not be wandering about on it - the fact you haven't been bitten or knocked over YET does not mean the owners are not at fault here.

That said, I would just go somewhere else and not use that path as if you make a complain and raise the issue with either police or ROW team, its likely you are going to piss off the owner who probably isn't all that chuffed about a public right of way through their land and that could make even bigger issues for you. Which shouldnt be the case but.. likely will be. The moral high ground is all well and good but if you get bitten in the bum or yelled at, it won't really help you there and then!


sunflowersandbuttercups · 29/04/2021 20:51


You're in their space.

Irrelevant. They still need to be under control.

krustykittens · 29/04/2021 21:11

Wherever these dogs are, they need to be under control of their owner. If the owner isn't even in sight, they are not under control. If people have a right to be on that path is is not OK for the dog's owners to be scaring them off. We live in the country and my dogs are double fenced back from the boundary so they cannot spook horses or upset walkers on the core path that runs between my garden and one of my fields. A lot of people don't like the general public anywhere near their properties and will use underhand tactics like this to stop people from using right of ways. I would report, personally.


PanamaPattie · 29/04/2021 21:16

Regardless of the fact that it's a public footpath - why do you run through a place that has "guard dogs"? The owner obviously doesn't care enough to control them. IME, you are at risk of an attack every time you go there. Just run somewhere safer.


UhtredRagnarson · 29/04/2021 21:19

Bring treats. Feed them to the dogs with loads of ear scruffles, become their friend. take them home with you


OppsUpsSide · 29/04/2021 21:22

I don’t think the dangerous dog act applies to dogs barking


Honeyroar · 29/04/2021 21:23

It’s a public footpath, why the heck should she have to run elsewhere!

We live rurally and have footpaths across our land. While I won’t tell my dogs off for barking a little (we’ve had things stolen and I’m happy to advertise we have noisy dogs!) I don’t think it’s acceptable to let your dogs intimidate people and chase them.


Honeyroar · 29/04/2021 21:25

If it’s really bad it might be worth contacting your local right of way person at the local council, or even the dog warden.


NeverDropYourMoonCup · 29/04/2021 21:27

If their response to an intruder is to sound the alarm and then escort you off the premises, they sound very much under control to me.


TooManyAnimals94 · 29/04/2021 21:34


If their response to an intruder is to sound the alarm and then escort you off the premises, they sound very much under control to me.

I agree with this to an extent but if they ignore the owner when they are told to 'stand down' as it were then they are not fully under control. On the other hand, many landowners resent the use of footpaths through their land and maybe this owner does not really 'mean it' when she's calling the dogs in the hope they gradually put people off.

Honeyroar · 29/04/2021 21:37

Quite. They’re not “intruders” if they’re on a legal right of way across the property. And you can’t shoo them off with dogs!


WiddlinDiddlin · 29/04/2021 21:43


I don’t think the dangerous dog act applies to dogs barking

No but it does apply to dogs who are out of control (won't respond to recall) who give someone a reasonable apprehension of injury (large, not under control, follow her closely, chase if shes running).

LakieLady · 29/04/2021 21:45

Barking is rarely motivated by aggression, hence the saying "a barking dog will seldom bite". It's more like sounding an alarm, to alert the rest of the pack, including humans, to a potential danger, such as an intruder.

Unless the dogs are showing more obvious signs of aggression, such as snarling, lowering their bodies ready to leap, and so on, I'd say they're doing their job, ie guarding. OP's description of them walking alongside her to the boundary of the property sounds very much like they're trained fairly well, tbh, and that they make no attempt to chase.

I'm more concerned that they ignore the person who tries to call them. You refer to them as "the owner", OP: do you mean the owner of the dogs or of the property?

I've known people who own and train guard dogs, and every dog of theirs will come to them immediately they're called, but will ignore anyone else (including the handler's wife in two instances). If they're ignoring the person who has trained and handled them, they are clearly not under control and the person who has trained them should be present when they're running loose.

But the barking in itself does not in any way mean they're aggressive. A low growl, snarling, and the occasional bark accompanied by a lunge and/or a snap of the jaw (aka "air snap") are all strong indicators of aggression, but it doesn't sound like they're doing any of that.

I'd try and make friends with them, personally. Treats may not be the best idea (they may come to expect them, and make themselves more of a nuisance), but stopping and making a fuss of them, talking to them etc, would be good.

But equally there'd be no harm in reporting them. The dog warden would probably come out and assess if they were under adequate control or not.


lljkk · 29/04/2021 21:48

What are you going to do, OP?

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